Correctional Officer Salary (United States)

Correctional Officers in the United States are not likely to strike it rich in their field; they only make around $34,320 per year on average. Pay starts at $24,496 and can approach $56,927 per year on the higher side. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is residency, though the company and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. Generous benefits are a perk in this profession; most claim both medical and dental insurance and a majority get vision coverage. Most Correctional Officers are men (72 percent). Most Correctional Officers are fairly content with their jobs, and work satisfaction falls in line with the national average. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Correctional Officer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$24,692 - $60,305
(Median)
25K
35K
45K
60K
MEDIAN: $34,996
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Correctional Officer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$10.61 - $22.30
(Median)
11
13
15
19
22
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$24,692 - $60,305  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,036  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,496 - $56,927  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 888
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$10.61 - $22.30  
   
Overtime
$13.66 - $39.24  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,036  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,496 - $56,927  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 534
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Job Description for Correctional Officer

A correctional officer works at a prison, jail, or similar institution. They are responsible for maintaining the safety and control of all persons remanded to the custody of the facility. The help ensure and enforce all procedures and regulations as required by the jurisdiction and management.
Read More...
Correctional Officer Tasks
  • Responsible for transporting or moving prisoners.
  • Receive and secure prisoners until their release.
  • Maintain security of the jail or institution.
  • Supervise prisoners and maintain security, rules, regulations and cleanliness in correctional facility.

Common Career Paths for Correctional Officer

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While Correctional Officers do not often become Registered Nurses, the ones that do transition make an extra $21K per year. With an annual $1,941 increase in salary, a Corrections Officer is the most common role for Correctional Officers to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Security Officer role—which actually slashes pay by $9,469—is also typical for Correctional Officers, though less common by comparison.

Correctional Officer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Correctional Officer

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Dept. of Corrections, and Florida Department of Corrections are top-notch employers for Correctional Officers in this area. Federal Bureau of Prisons offers the largest salaries in town—$49,533 on average—but the considerable range in workers' salaries (stretching from $35K to $65K) creates a rather varied pay scale. Other employers shelling out big bucks include Oregon Department of Corrections, Arizona Department of Corrections, and Dept. of Corrections, where Correctional Officers typically earn around $46,100, $41,389, or $36,700, respectively.
Earnings fall especially short at State of Tennessee (TN), where the median salary of $26,852 is the lowest in the field, just about half of the top paying company's median. Other low-paying employers include Georgia Department of Corrections at $27,048 and The GEO Group, Inc. at $29,276, though some Correctional Officers there earn up to $44K.

Pay by Experience Level for Correctional Officer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
In most cases, Correctional Officers can expect only incremental pay growth as they advance in their careers. Starting at around $31K, salaries see a boost to $36K after five to 10 years. Salary comes to $39K after 10 to 20 years. After spending 20 years in the field, salary continues to increase (though at a slower pace) for Correctional Officers and pay is expected at $46K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 24 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than 10, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 7 percent. Between one and nine years of experience is the norm for people in this field—more than half of those surveyed fit this bill.

Pay Difference By Location

San Diego
up arrow 79%
Chicago
up arrow 61%
Los Angeles
up arrow 54%
New York
up arrow 36%
Draper
up arrow 35%
Salem
up arrow 18%
Boston
up arrow 18%
Miami
up arrow 15%
Baltimore
up arrow 15%
Orlando
up arrow 4%
National Average
$34,000
Atlanta
up arrow 1%
Houston
up arrow 2%
Raleigh
up arrow 15%
Augusta
up arrow 19%
Columbia
up arrow 24%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
San Diego is home to an above-average pay rate for Correctional Officers, 79 percent higher than the national average. Other urban areas shelling out big bucks include Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Draper, where Correctional Officers typically earn around 61 percent, 54 percent, 36 percent, and 35 percent more than usual. Correctional Officers' salaries are heavily influenced by location—Correctional Officers in Columbia bring in salaries that are 24 percent lower than the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Augusta and Raleigh (-19 percent and -15 percent, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Correctional Officer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 34%
Experienced
up arrow 13%
Mid-Career
up arrow 5%
National Average
$34,000

Skills That Affect Correctional Officer Salaries

Safety Compliance
up arrow 52%
People Management
up arrow 2%
Security Policies and Procedures
0%
National Average
$34,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 242 votes.

Gender

Female
28%
female alumni
 
Male
72%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 71%
vision benefits Vision: 61% employee benefits None: 10%
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